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Faster Than the Speed of Suck

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Album Review

Faster Than the Speed of Suck had to be a solo project for Asylum Street Spankers' leader Wammo; it's everything that his main band isn't. Unlike his main outfit, which takes pride in remaining unplugged, this record is plugged in and tuned up, with the electric guitars, samplers, and other effects lying in stark contrast to the roots rock that Asylum Street Spankers take so much pride in. As the disc's narrator intones at the onset, Faster Than the Speed of Suck is a concept album of sorts. The self-deprecating hero, Wammo, is making a journey from Texas to New Orleans in a borrowed, souped-up muscle car with a female companion of whom he has designs on. The disc follows their travels and travails on and off the interstate, with a focus on everyone's dilemma on road trips, the radio. The way that Wammo satires the banality of radio circa 1999 (when the trip is purported to have taken place) will strike a chord with anyone who has had to make long hauls with the AM/FM dial as their only musical accompaniment: commercials are spoofed perfectly (the movie-commercial parody for "Dead Skaters Rule" is genius), as are the big-announcer voice assumed by so many jocks and silly station sloganeering ("You're listening to K-R-A-C-K, You're on KRACK! One hit and you're hooked!") and of course the banal pabulum that passes as music. That is also taken to task with hilarious effects: entire genres are raked over the coals, whether in the background as snippets that the two protagonists are arguing over keeping on or changing, or on original compositions that are as amusing as they are catchy and well-written. Sometimes Wammo apes a specific artist, sometimes a whole genre, sometimes both. While the surprise ending is a bit anti-climactic, Faster Than the Speed of Suck is clever, insightful, and still manages to kick ass, a triple crown as rare as finding a station two people can agree on for any length of time on a cross-country car expedition. ~ Brian O'Neill, Rovi


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Before launching a solo musical career in the mid-'90s, Wammo worked as an alternative DJ, sang as a grunge vocalist, played washboard in a string band and read his work in a number of poetry slams. Fat Headed Stranger, Wammo's...
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Faster Than the Speed of Suck, Wammo
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